5 Reasons To Start A Blog & 5 Reasons Not To Blog

5 Reasons To Blog & 5 Reasons Not To Blog, start a blog to make money or for fun for beginners, ideas and checklist for starting a lifestyle blog, step by step what to do before starting a blog, #blogging, #bloggintips, #bloggingadvice, #startablog

Today’s going to an “Ask Rachel” post! I feel like I haven’t done one of these in forever! I debated doing this post for SO long because I felt like I had already said it in so many other posts (but then I realized I think I just say it a lot in my head or IRL and don’t know how clear I’ve been about my views on blogging actually here on the blog lol!). Anyway, that’s my rambley way of getting to today’s post:

to start a blog or not to blog?

It’s THE most common question that lands in my inbox. I honestly get it multiple times a month in various forms! Everything from “should I start a blog?” to  “I want to make extra money on the side and am thinking about blogging, any tips?” to “I want to work from home and have watched you grow and it’s inspired me to start a blog, advice?” I’m lumping them all together here for a few reasons that’ll hopefully be beyond clear by the end of this post!

DISCLAIMER:

FIRST – before anything else – let me say – do NOT start blogging to make money (well my reasoning for lumping these Q’s together should be pretty clear by now haha!). But seriously, the worst reason to start a blog is to make some money. Blogging, as you’ll read more in this post, is a lot of work and even more passion than you can probably imagine until you’ve done it. If you’re going into it to make money, I’d say skip it. There are tons of other – much easier – ways to make money on the side and from home if that’s your goal. E and I talk about this in depth during this podcast episode on entrepreneurship.

Alright, now that that’s out of the way: to start a blog or not to blog…

5 Reasons To Start A Blog:

It’s a creative outlet

I started my blog in a flurry of angst, anger, and passion. I needed to rant to someone beyond my husband about this seeming never ending quarter life crisis I was going through and voila! TCM was born in 48 hours! Anytime I need to rant, vent, or work through a topic, I find myself pulling up a draft and doing a brain dump. It’s my favorite creative outlet and beyond rewarding (also a huge $$$ saver on therapy bills!).

It allows you to get to know yourself on a totally new level

As you grow as a blogger, I’d encourage you to reflect back and revisit old posts. It really gives you a chance to see into yourself on a totally different level. Between reading, proof reading, and re-reading your own content, you start to learn things about yourself that can get overlooked. You’ll also learn a lot about your fears and insecurities by how you censor yourself in your posts or how you handle negative feedback (or no feedback at all which can be just as traumatizing at times!).

millennial blogger journaling on beach, importance of nature and mental health

You may meet some of your best friends – or even just friends that change you

I’ve met some amazing friends blogging! Honestly, the community overall is SO supportive. While there’s definitely drama and things aren’t always as “community over competition” as the Instagram quotes would have you believe; I can say that overall you’ll meet amazing people and the community will leave a deep and positive impact on you.

Build your personal brand

We live in a fast moving world. With more and more jobs getting outsourced overseas and to robots, all we really have is our unique special sauce. In order for you to find that special sauce, you need to go through a lot of reflection and trial and error. Then, once you find out secret sauce, you need to let the world know you have it! I believe building a personal brand is more important than ever today.

A blog allows you to do just that. Blogging has opened me up for opportunities to write for Forbes, gain blog consulting clients, do speaking engagements, create content for brands, and build an audience. A blog is like a resume on steroids showcasing your expertise and skills. It’s a launchpad for countless opportunities.

[RELATED] How Important Is Your Personal Brand Really?

This could go in either “to blog” or “not to blog”:

You’ll develop new skills

Blogging isn’t just writing. It’s editing, photography (and editing those photos), social media, managing brand partnerships, strategic marketing and planning, and so much more. You don’t just sit down and write your diary for the world, hit publish, and call it a day. In fact, you’ll likely only spend 20% of your time writing, and 80% marketing and doing all the other things that go into making a blog successful. You need to create content people want to share and know how to get that content in front of people to share.

You don't just sit down and write your diary for the world - you need to create content people want to share.Click To Tweet

For some people, they just want to write, and developing all the other business-y skills is pure torture. If that’s you, I wouldn’t recommend starting a blog that you plan to get public recognition or money for. I’d look at it as a hobby you do for your soul and that’s it.

Now if developing and refining all of these are skills sounds exciting you may have way it takes to start a blog that you monetize. You’ll develop so much confidence along the way and there will be point you look back on how much you’ve learned and feel SO proud. I’ve had clients go from not knowing where to purchase a domain to having over 50k+ page views in just a few months of launching (check out my blog consulting services here). It’s an insane journey in a beautiful way if you’re open to a lot of hard work and learning.

[RELATED] How To Create A Home Photography Studio On A Budget

5 Reasons Not To Start A Blog:

Depending on your goal, you’ll work more hours than you can believe

If your goal is to be a full-time blogger – or successful – you’ll probably work more hours than you can even imagine. I’m talking 16 hour days sometimes. Between writing, revising, adding photos, formatting, publishing, and then promoting a blog post alone can take you anywhere from 3-10 hours! Then there’s still social media to deal with!

Don’t expect to get paid

That’s not to say you can’t make money blogging – in fact I’ve made a really nice living from blogging and wouldn’t trade it for the world. But my friends always tell me that I’m an anomaly. One of my friends even polled her audience to see how much bloggers were making, out of 100 people who responded, 40% said they didn’t even make $500 a month, 40% made under $1,000 a month, 20% said they made under $5k a month, and me and one other person said we made over $5k!

Now, if you find yourself thinking,”an extra $500 a month sounds awesome!” that’s great… but keep in mind those people are probably working 10-20 hours a week to make that happen and doing it for over a year. <— Go back and re-read that last sentence if those income stats didn’t scare you!

[RELATED] 7 Biggest Blogging Mistakes

Many bloggers I know call themselves “full-time” and don’t even make $10,000 a year! Trust me though, they are putting in full time hours. To get paid as a blogger you need to be strategic, you need to have a solid game plan, and you need to produce quality content. If you miss any one of those ingredients it can be challenging to get out of the “free product” rut that so many find themselves in.

To get paid as a blogger you need to be strategic, you need to have a solid game plan, and you need to produce quality content. If you miss any one of those ingredients it can be challenging to get out of the 'free product' rut that so many find themselves in.Click To Tweet

Blogging isn’t just blogging

I know I just brought this up, but I wanted to go deeper. If you want to blog, and get paid, you better want to get on social media too and learn a thing or two about taking and editing photos. Oh and let’s not forget that you’ll also have to take on a managerial role and be prepared to handle your inbox which will hit 300+ a day with countless emails asking you for free stuff and people trying to take advantage of you ALL. THE. TIME. You’re going to play role of photographer, manager, publicist, writer, editor, lawyer, social media manager, CPA, and probably even more hats that I’m forgetting if your blog becomes successful.

Blogging is a dying industry

Or so they say. I don’t know how much I believe this but I’m putting it here because a lot of people believe it and it creates a mindset block to success. I know more and more people are turning to podcasts and video, but blogging is still alive and kicking. You’ll need to be aware though that in terms of holding people’s attention and getting brands to pay you, the deck is stacked against you.

That’s why so many bloggers are constantly focused on Instagram today – brands want to see your reach beyond your blog. You could have a post doing really well on search engines, but that doesn’t mean your blog as a whole has an engaged audience. Whereas with video, podcasting, and Instagram, there’s a little more room to build that “personal” touch. People can hear your voice and get to know you on a different level. The offers I see coming into my inbox from blog networks are offering 1/3 of the compensation for a blog compared to a video and many aren’t even offering blog opportunities any more, just Instagram.

[RELATED] Frustrated with Instagram? Here’s the blog post you ACTUALLY need to read about it

You’ll lose your sense of self

When you start a blog, it’s inevitable you’re going to spend more time on the internet. Aside from working on your blog, you need to then promote it, at which point you’ll probably end up reading other bloggers or going down a Pinterest rabbit hole. All of the content consumption will inevitably mess with your head.

I have literally talked to bloggers who have told me they published a post because it was “what bloggers are supposed to do” during that time of the year and that they “knew it was going to do really well.” When I asked how they knew their post was going to do really well when they just published it, they said, “because all the other blog posts on it do really well that I see other bloggers promoting it!”  ??‍♀️??‍♀️??‍♀️

If you're producing water downed versions of other people's content, you won't succeed. Click To Tweet

You started a blog to be creative and have a unique point of view! But now you’ll constantly compare yourself to what others are doing or worse – you’ll get writers block. In an attempt to stay consistent, you may find yourself ripping off other bloggers content into water downed versions of your own. It’s inevitable that you will lose your sense of self along the blogging journey. You will cry and question everything about yourself. You’ll probably blog for bloggers or then blog for what you think your audience wants… but you can’t forget to blog for you! Otherwise you may as well shut it down before you start.

With all of that said… would I start a blog right now?

HELL YES! I think the decision to start a blog is a personal one. You have to be prepared for all of the reasons not to start a blog and still feel SO inspired and motivated that you DGAF. My blog has been one of the best thing that has ever happened to me and I wouldn’t change that. If I wanted to go back into the corporate world right now, I know that everything I’ve learned and done up until this point would help me land my next dream job – but this is my dream job so I’ll stay right here!

Blogging will test you on every level: emotionally, financially, mentally, and even physically if you're pulling all nighters working on it (which many do)!Click To Tweet

Blogging is the most rewarding career I could’ve dreamt up. It’s way more work than I imagined but I love it so it doesn’t feel like work. If you don’t have that love for it, don’t do it. It will test you on every level: emotionally, financially, mentally, and even physically if you’re pulling all nighters working on it (which many do)! The biggest question you need to ask yourself: are you passionate enough to do this for free? If the answer is yes, then go for it! If you hesitate, find something else to do with your time. After all, time is our most precious and valuable resource, so vigilantly protect yours!

The biggest question you need to ask yourself before starting a blog: are you passionate enough to do this for free? Click To Tweet
Time is our most precious and valuable resource, so vigilantly protect yours! Click To Tweet

Bloggers, what would you add to the list for blogging or not blogging?

Prospective bloggers, where are you heads at? To blog or not to blog?


RELATED READS:

How You Can Connect With Brands For Sponsored Posts

7 Biggest Blogging Mistakes

An Evolution: 3 Lessons Learned From 2 Years of Blogging

10 Lessons From My First Year Blogging

Frustrated with Instagram? Here’s the blog post you ACTUALLY need to read about it


Reasons to start a blog:

  1. It’s a total creative outlet

  2. It allows you to get to know yourself on a totally new level

  3. You may meet some of your best friends – or even just friends that change you

  4. You’ll develop new skills and a new sense of confidence

  5. Build your personal brand

Reasons not to start a blog:

  1. Depending on your goal, you’ll work more hours than you can believe

  2. Don’t expect to get paid

  3. Blogging isn’t just blogging

  4. Blogging is a dying industry

  5. You’ll lose your sense of self

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041: Goal Setting & Productivity with Katherine McDermott of Slightly Savvy

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